Head-on crash closes Route 3 in Holderness

HOLDERNESS — Two people were seriously injured in a head-on car crash at 12:50 p.m. Thursday on Route 3 near the Squam Lakes Association building.

Fire Chief Eleanor Mardin said that the man, who was driving a mid-sized Toyota sedan, suffered serious life-threatening injuries. She said a DHART helicopter came to the scene and landed on the soccer field at Camp Deerwood but the man ended up being transported by Plymouth ambulance to Speare Memorial Hospital.

Mardin said the woman, who was driving a Nissan SUV, was taken by Stewart's Ambulance to Lakes Region General Hospital and was stable at the last report.

She said rescue crews from Holderness, Plymouth and Center Harbor needed three extrication devices to remove the two victims from their cars.

She said Route 3 was closed for four hours and traffic was rerouted over Shepard Hill Road. The New Hampshire State Police Accident Reconstruction Team investigated the crash while area police closed off the road.

– Gail Ober

Corrections workers up for first raise in four years

By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — Unionized employees of the Belknap County House of Corrections will vote Tuesday on a proposed contract with the county which would provide them with their first pay raise in four years.
Beknap County Commission Chairman David DeVoy (R-Sanbornton) did not reveal details of the proposed contract but said that he is very hopeful that the contract will win approval of union members so that commissioners can bring it before the Belknap County Delegation in the near future.
Commissioners when they met last week discussed what they called a "consensus agreement with corrections employees" which was described as cost-neutral and said that it was similar to the collective bargaining agreement between Teamsters Local 633 and the county which was approved by a 10-5 vote by the County Delegation last August.
The employees at the Corrections Department are members of one of the three unions of county employees represented by the State Employees Association. The other two unions cover employees of the Belknap County Home and the Belknap County Sheriff's Department.
The contract which was approved last August with the Teamsters, who represent 23 mid-level managers in several county departments, provided a 1.4 percent pay raise as well as step increases, which increased total compensation by 4.4 percent for eligible workers.
It also provided for health insurance changes from an HMO plan to a "site of service" plan which provides for $1,000, $2,000 and $3,000 deductibles on single, two-person and family plans for which the county now pays the entire bill. Currently employees pays 5 to 6.5 percent of the premiums for the HMO plan.
DeVoy said in August that the change reduced the amount the county pays for the current HMO plan by as much as $4,000 per employee. Several legislators who voted against the contract said at that time that they though it was a good agreement but didn't like the idea of the county assuming the entire cost and not having employees continue to pay a percentage of the premium costs.

Gilford considers change for troubled 11-A/B intersection

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

GILFORD — Selectmen gave the go ahead to Public Works Director Peter Nourse Wednesday night to determine about how much it would cost to reconfigure the intersection of Route 11A and Route 11B.

Nourse's suggestion is to eliminate the western-most part of the triangle and reconfigure the northern part of the triangle to form a "T" intersection with Route 11A, or Cherry Valley Road.

"I believe the intersection would be safer if it was 'T'd' up," he told selectmen.

This is not the first time selectmen have discussed eliminating the western merge lane from Intervale Road or Route 11B to Cherry Valley Road. For about two years, conversations between town officials and the DOT took place because the selectboard wanted to build a memorial park there to honor police officer and firefighters. The goal was to have it ready for the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

At the time, the DOT was not interested in the suggestion, and, because both are state highways, the decision was and is within their purview.

Nourse told selectmen that in the course of his conversations with the officials from the DOT, they are interested for safety reasons but said the state can't pay for it. He told selectmen on Wednesday that if the state were to pay for it, it would have to be added to the "10-year plan."

"It is their desire to have as many "T" intersections as possible," he said yesterday.

Selectman Richard "Rags" Grenier said that he felt the possible reconstruction was not needed because the triangle "works the way it is."

The other selectmen, who both said they had nearly been in accidents there, were more interested in hearing about how much it would cost. Nourse said yesterday that in speaking with DOT officials he learned there is a possibility of a minimum amount of state grant money available from a sub-program of the New Hampshire safety improvement grants that address intersections proven to be dangerous or that have the potential to be dangerous.

Nourse is expected to report back to selectmen once he has a clearer idea of how much it would cost.

mapinside

Local officials are thinking of removing the highlighted part of Route 11B in Gilford rather than wait for the state to take up the project. (Map courtesy Google Maps)